MV Werften: Management announces filing for bankruptcy
The shipyard owner Genting Hong Kong believes that it will be the federal government to save the shipyards. “To drop the shipyards now would be the biggest economic mistake the federal government could make,” said Genting President Colin Au on Sunday in Wismar. He appealed to the federal and state governments to reconsider their negative attitude towards the release of funds for the completion of the ship “Global 1”. In addition to jobs in the northeast, an entire industry including suppliers at home and abroad is also threatened. The federal and state governments, on the other hand, are calling for a higher share of the company.
Tough struggle between genting, federal government and state
The federal government has been wrestling with the Asian owner for days to rescue the ailing shipyard group. Most recently, the wages for the approximately 2,000 employees in the country had not been paid. The news on Friday that trading in Genting shares had been suspended on the Hong Kong stock exchange caused additional uncertainty among the workforce. The federal government is ready to provide further assistance, but has so far not wanted to abandon its demand for a substantial contribution from Genting. A clear commitment by the owners to their shipyard is missing, it was said recently from Berlin. The IG Metall coast has invited the shipyard workers to an online general meeting for today.
Shipyard boss Haake: The federal government doesn’t want to, Genting can’t
Shipyard group manager Carsten Haake did not save on Sunday with allegations against the federal government. This caused the current problem by the disbursement of funds during the construction of the approximately 1.5 billion euro expensive ship “Global 1” when reaching an intermediate stage – the so-called milestone F – was blocked last December. According to the federal government, the risks for the prefabricated construction of the ship are too great due to the development in the cruise industry. Haake assumes that the federal government does not want to move at the moment – and that Genting cannot move. “We worked our way through the federal requirements,” said Haake. Four proposals by Genting had been rejected by the federal government.
Federal funds for the prefabricated construction of “Global 1” in return for Genting’s own contribution
The federal government had already presented a proposal before Christmas to save the shipyards: The more than 340 meter long cruise ship “Global 1” should be completed with the help of around 600 million euros from the state economic stabilization fund (WSF). In return, the Ministry of Economic Affairs asked the owner to make a contribution of 60 million euros. So far, Genting had only promised 30 million euros, but is now said to have offered a further eleven million euros, according to the “Ostsee-Zeitung”. But even that had not been considered enough by the federal government. The ship was to be used as security for the federal financial injection. The state government is also ready for a financial injection. Finance Minister Heiko Geue (SPD) confirmed this on Friday in the NDR Nordmagazin. But there will be no rescue at any price.
Federal shipyard commissioner Müller: Genting should make an appropriate contribution
The new maritime coordinator of the federal government, Claudia Müller (Greens), emphasized on Sunday evening that the federal government was still ready to provide comprehensive help. The offer to support the prefabricated construction of “Global 1” with 600 million euros is still available. “We appeal to the owners to give in and to make an appropriate contribution of their own in order to do everything together to save the more than 1,900 jobs,” said Müller. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania’s Economics Minister Reinhard Meyer (SPD) appealed to the shipyards group to continue negotiations. “The federal government’s offer to negotiate is on the table,” he said on Sunday. It is in the interests of the state government, the employees and the shipbuilding industry to maintain the shipyard locations. “The black peter game, who said what and when, doesn’t get us any further,” said Meyer.
“Without Covid 19 we would never have asked the government for a euro”
Au emphasized in Wismar that the cruise industry in Asia had started again and was working “profitably”. Genting took over the shipyards with the sole aim of building cruise ships. It should also not be forgotten that the company has since invested more than two billion euros in the MV locations out of pocket, and the number of employees has doubled. “Without Covid 19, we would never have asked the government for a euro.” From Au’s point of view, it is more than likely that the corona pandemic will subside in spring. The transition to normality and with it the return of the cruise industry are imminent.
Works council sees sobering signals: “No answers received”
The head of the general works council, Ines Scheel, said that after the talks last week she had almost given up hope that MV Werften would survive. You have repeatedly asked all those involved at the federal and state levels to sit down at the table again. According to her account, none of the responsible federal and state politicians has been seen at the shipyards in the past few weeks. “We wrote letters to the Federal Chancellor, the federal ministries and the state government and received no answers,” she criticized.
A total of 148 million euros are missing
The background to the crisis at MV Werften is a liquidity gap that was reported by the company. Specifically, it is reportedly about 148 million euros, which should be taken in through further loans from the state and federal government. It is still unclear whether these new aid payments will be made. Genting acquired the shipyards in Rostock, Wismar and Stralsund in 2016 in response to the then booming cruise market in order to have ships built there for the Group’s own shipping companies. But with the collapse of the industry as a result of the Corona crisis, the Asian parent company ran into difficulties that continue to this day.
This topic in the program:
NDR 1 Radio MV | 01/09/2022 | 4:00 p.m.